I just finished practice on Lake Hartwell – the second stop on the FLW Tour Major circuit this year and, WOW, what a huge, spread out lake this is. I have run my Ranger Z-520 and 250 Evinrude E-TEC from one end to the other. I’ve never been to this lake and couldn't even think about covering it all in three days, so I made a decision to stay in the Tugaloo and Seneca Rivers that feed into the lake. Hopefully this helps prevent me from getting too spread out. But judging by just how far you can run up river, I’m not sure if that worked or not. Overall though, I think this is going to be a pretty good tournament. The lake has both spotted bass and largemouth and the water temperature has been climbing rapidly with the warm days we’ve had. With today being our official day off and 80 degree air temps expected, we could very well see the spawn bite in full swing when we hit the water tomorrow.
Overall my practice was pretty up-and-down, with the first day of practice probably being my best. I committed myself to the shallow largemouth bite which I believe is the one you will need to do well in this tournament. So I have been up and down every major creek arm in the rivers and have seen some good looking stuff and had a few good bites but it seems like there just aren't a bunch of fish there. It has really been a grind to get a consistent bite. The next two days of practice were fairly similar but I did get on a pattern that seemed pretty good. Once again, though, I have to cover miles of water to make it work, but the bites it produced were really quality fish. I am really looking forward to getting out there and seeing what tommorrow brings and the decisions that come with it – whether to fish dirty, shallow water, clear water or even both….dilemmas, dilemmas. The weights should be really good for this tournament and I can’t wait to get out there and see how things come together.